CTA Introduces Online Training for Novice Tow Truck Drivers

The Canadian Towing Association, in conjunction with DriveWise Canada, has launched an online training program for light-duty towing.

by the Canadian Towing Association (CTA)

Developed by Execute Director Doug Nelson, the CTA’s decision to launch the Tow Truck Operator Program evolved from discussions with industry members about training needs. Many owners expressed fatigue at throwing good money after poor training for their drivers, only to have them leave for other jobs. 

The intention of this program is to provide affordable, quality online training that a trainee can learn at his/her own pace, and it is accessible to all tow truck drivers in North America. The program offers a convenient way for tow companies to ensure that their new drivers have basic training while focusing on safety and consumer satisfaction.

The trainee must first study the information provided in the program, and then work/drive and execute a tow (demonstrating what they have learned and retained) under the guidance of a mentor. The mentor will provide the practical part of the training to the trainee, and they will ride together for several weeks until the mentor is confident that the trainee understands what he/she has learned and can work independently.

The mentor must be qualified, have training, and have at least five years of experience. The mentor is responsible for ensuring that the student understands all aspects of the program and his/her duties and responsibilities.

Upon registration, the student and mentor will be sent login credentials to complete online self-paced training. The online training reviews the basic knowledge that is required for light-duty tow operators. There is a strong emphasis on safety throughout the training, as safety should always be the number one priority. The online training is divided into eleven 20-minute modules.

The modules include:
  1. Definitions and Acronyms
  2. Tow Trucks and Tilt-N-Loads
  3. Weight and Balance
  4. Hooks, Chains, and Cables
  5. Connecting, Loading, and Towing
  6. Personal Safety
  7. Driving, Traffic and Work Zone Management
  8. Vehicle Recovery Service
  9. Lighting
  10. Documentation and Administration
  11. Customer Service

There is a short quiz at the end of each module. Participants must score at least 80% in each quiz to pass. 

For the On-Job Training (OJT) portion of the curriculum, performance competency is achieved when the participant can repeat the skills of operation safely, without prompting, and at will according to the competency statement.

Requirements to take the training:
  • Valid G licence
  • Mentor with at least five years of experience to verify the training experience of the student

Currently under development is a basic program that will offer an in-depth knowledge of heavy-duty towing. Offered through the Ontario Recovery Group (ORG), Doug Nelson, and DriveWise, this comprehensive training program will also be educational and affordable.

Both programs must include an experienced mentor to oversee the driver’s skills, ensure the completion of the program, and monitor the practical hands-on experience of the student. The programs are modular and a test on each module is required. A certificate will be issued upon achieving 80% or better on the test.

The light-duty training program can be accessed via the Canadian Towing Association’s website at ctagroup.ca/training